Arms race between Pakistan and India must end: Nawaz | Pakistan Today

Arms race between Pakistan and India must end: Nawaz

A crippling arms race between Pakistan and India must “come to an end” and the two rivals should settle their conflict over Kashmir, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif told The Daily Telegraph on Friday.

In his first interview since taking office, Nawaz spoke with passion about the need to achieve peace with his neighbour and reduce the burden of defence spending.

India and Pakistan have been locked in confrontation over Kashmir ever since Britain left the sub-continent in 1947. Today, India deploys an army of 1.1 million men, Pakistan has 550,000 regular soldiers and the two rivals have amassed nuclear arsenals.

“We’ve been in a very unfortunate arms race with India ever since partition and I think we are a very unfortunate country from that point of view,” said Nawaz Sharif.

“Both Pakistan and India have wasted so much money on military hardware, building up their defences against each other. They’ve been running after MiG-29s, we’ve been running after F-16s; they’ve been buying more tanks and we’ve been buying more military hardware. We’ve been running after submarines – how expensive they are! – and then of course India was the first one to tread the nuclear path,” the PM said.

“I think this must come to an end. The money wasted in defence should have gone into social sectors – it should have gone into education, it should have gone into health care.”

Nawaz added: “I hope that both countries realise this, realise these mistakes that we’ve made. I think the main objective of making peace with each other is to get rid of all that. We’ve got to sit with India and discuss this matter.”

Last year, defence and debt repayments swallowed 54 percent of Pakistan’s federal budget; education received less than 2 percent. Nawaz said he wanted to cut defence, but added: “This cannot be one-sided – we have to do it together. India would also have to do it.”

Since Nawaz took office in June, skirmishes begun at the Line of Control which affected the Pak-India relations. As for whether the Pakistan Army would accept peace with India and a budget cut, the premier said: “We’re all on one page. There’s only one page and that is the page of the government of Pakistan.”

Both neighbours should stop the game of mutual recrimination, he added. “Anything going wrong in India – they blame us; anything going wrong in Pakistan – we blame them. I think this blame game has to stop.”

But Nawaz then hinted that India was behind terrorism inside Pakistan, saying: “Our sources also tell me that there is a hidden hand of India in certain disturbances going on in Pakistan and the acts of terrorism which take place in many parts of Pakistan.”

Nawaz urged the need for reconciliation with India, making clear that his election victory was a mandate for peace with India.

“There will be progress and there has to be progress,” he said.

“We didn’t have any India-bashing slogans in the elections. We don’t believe in such slogans. There have been such slogans in the past — 10 years ago, 20 years ago, 30 years ago — but not now. In fact, I very clearly spoke about good relations with India even before the elections were happening.”

Nawaz acknowledged that security was also essential for economy. “We are fighting all these elements because look at what they’ve done in different parts of the country,” he said. “More than 40,000 people have lost their lives in this battle against terror.”

On Pakistan’s relations with US, he called the drone campaign on the Afghan frontier as the top “irritant”, adding: “The drones are counter-productive, they are violating our sovereignty and we must respect each other’s territorial sovereignty and if the drones are challenging our sovereignty this is not a fair thing.”



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31 Comments

  1. An Indian said:

    Why you seek parity with India ????? Are we equal ?
    India's defence needs are different than yours. India's coastline is nearly 7600 km and land frontiers 5 times bigger than you. Indian economy is 11 times bigger than you. India spends less than 2.5% of its GDP on its defence while Pakistan spends over 7% of its GDP. You are like a toad who is inflating itself to an implosion.
    You rather sit across table with Afghanistan and discuss defence budget. Leave India alone. We don't need your wisdom.
    Also, on terrorism it is not blame game. Terrorism coming out of Pakistan is a reality and evidence have been provided to Pakistan..while you just say for sake of saying..you better stop that and control terror outfits…

    • sahmed said:

      As long as the two countries have nuclear weapons, they are equal, the other considerations such as the size of the army and economy do not add up to much as for as the security of the country is concerned. Neither country dares to attack the other, because of these nuclear weapons. The best option is for the two countries to sort out their differences and eliminate them.

    • Shehzad said:

      India 200 sharabi soldiers are equal to 1 Pakistani soldier. thats why india deployed more military in disputed kashmir.

      • Jeet said:

        AHhahahah…really…these Sharabi soldiers tore your country apart in 2 pieces in less than 3 weeks and 93000 cl0wns of Pakistan army surrendered !!!!!!!!!
        You can't get an inch of Kashmir in 66 years ????? Pakistan army is the only army in the world which lost all its wars!!! and half of country !! Keep what is left of Bakistan…

        • sahmed said:

          Half of the left over country has enough fire power to take out all of your country, be careful about what you write.

          • Jeet said:

            You have nothing but empty boasting…If you had anywhere near that capability you headless idi0ts would not have waited that long…your band baja barat fauj is only good for military coups.. It does not dare to have another war with India that's why they have created additional non-uniformed regiments in form of various lashkars. Kids from poor family are indoctrinated in the name of religion and turned into senseless killing machines and are being used to run a low intensity proxy war with India ..they are scared to fight..they can't wrest Siachin back from India..they can't beat or control Taleban…so what firepower u talking about ??

          • sahmed said:

            i repeat again, the left over half has enough power to take you out.

          • Nadeem said:

            Kids from poor families you must be talking about RSS camps. Reality check 1948 got half of Kashmir back from endia then before losing it all Nehru ran to UN for resolution which is still pending to be implemented. 1965 successfully defended Pakistan from coward endian army attacks and forced them to run to tashqand. 1971 yes we lost the war but it was more political then military. Siachin after endia invaded no mans land Pak soldiers fought back and got half of it back without having proper gear. Kargil we still occupy highest point in kargil.
            Endian history lost half of Kashmir in 1948. Lost China war. Lost in 1965.

          • Gp66 said:

            Your own air marshal as ghar khan says Pakistan started 1965 war, so there was no question of defending anything. You tried to grab by attacking and failed to do so. 1971 90000 soldiers surrendered to Indian army that is a military loss not political one. Siachen you got half back? Who are you kidding. There are no Pakistani soldiers in Siachen – not one. It is fully occupied by India. Pakistani soldiers are only sitting in the Gyari sector. You could not dislodge India despite 3 attempts. In Kargill, Nawaz and Musharraf betrayed Vajpayee but once India started retaliating, Pakistan ran to US and requested help but when that did not come, they declared unilateral ceasefire.

            Please confirm facts from independent sources.

            Also India collects 16% of GDP in taxes and spends 2% on defense means only 12"5% of tax collected goes to defense. Pakistan collects 9% of GDP as taxes and spends 4% on defense. So around 44% of taxes are spent on defense. So where is the question for India to reduce more? Anyway India has yo also protect itself from China.

            If Pakistan cannot afford to spend such a high percentage of its taxes on defense, it should reduce it. As a percentage of GDP and percentage of taxes collected, India spends much lesser than Pakistan, so expecting further cuts from India just because you have a fiscal deficit problem makes little sense.

          • Nadeem said:

            I know what Ashgar Khan said don't miss quote him. About Siachin I my self was posted in Siachin So I know what we got you can only assume from your sitting room. 1971 war the result of all political problems created by our own leaders and Indian sponsored terror group mukti bahni. Our 90000 troops were captured and two KM of indian land was occupied by Pakistani army which was returned for the release of those soldiers. Unilateral cease fire whom you are kidding. Us intervene on the request of Vajpayee and then Nawaz visited US. Rest is history. By the way who betrayed whom when Indians occupy Siachin.

          • Desi from Lahore said:

            Speaking of empty boasting,if India was really that big and brave,they would have attacked Pakistan but they are too busy swapping wives,all you chicken s h i t s ever do is threat,because you know you chicken s h i t s don't have the b a l l s.The reason you have a bigger army is because no one likes you lmfao,Pakistan on one side and China on the other,you're gonna get 2 BIG ..cks in both your holes.And please don't give me your GDP nonsense,90% of Indians are starving to death.At least we know who we are,at least we don't pretend to be something we will never be(BOLLYWOOD)

      • Indian First said:

        Then answer me why your 90000 brave pak soldiers wet their pants before the Indian Army during the 1971 war?

    • Nadeem said:

      How about one hundred and 50 million endians living below the poverty line in 11 times bigger economy. We are capable to stop RSS terror out fits don't worry. How about Indian sponsored terrorism in Baluchistan proof were given to manmohan in sharmul sheikhakr meeting and he accepted that he will do some thing about it. When got home he got his ass kicked by extremists then he backed off. India is ruled by goons like thakrey group bajrajrandal RSS shiv sena. So you better get your act straight then blame others.

    • Shariq Iqbal said:

      ,Mr Indian:
      Please spare me (a Pakistani by birth)of your own(Indian)inflated ego.Its is true that Indian economy may be 11 times bigger than Pakistan's, but her thinking towards Pakistan is 22 times smaller,"Get It".Its always Pakistan,Pakistan,your strategy has always been directed at Pakistan.
      in a negative sense,eg all yours(Indian) armed forces at present, concentrated on Pakistan borders,Why is that
      If India abandons her strategy of trying to make Pakistan strategically weaker than her,than peace will come to the sub-continent.

    • Desi from Lahore said:

      Guess? lmfao, go learn english first,then comment.Its "look whose talking" CHEW-T-AAAAAAAA

  2. A Hakim said:

    Nawaz Sharif's so-called passion about the need to bring about peace with India and thus reduce burden of defense spending will I am afraid remain "a wishful thinking" and self-deception at best.The real problem with Pakistani rulers has been they have delivered absolutely nothing to their people. They find money for their lavish, extravagant and wasteful
    living style and show no care for their poor people. In fact everything do only adds to the people's misery

  3. Muhammad Ajmal Hamid said:

    I can’t understand why is expecting India to do that while India wants to be a global power. India wants yo dictate other countries. This man is just exposing us.

  4. Nazia said:

    A crippling arms race between Pakistan and India must "come to an end" and the two rivals should settle their conflict over Kashmir,
    ISPR highly disliked this statement and I am sure with morning Lassi PM would get showcase notice from Kiyani on leaking such peaceful solutions of our all problems.God save the Sharif and his family as he has been too late to give such solutions to mega monster of Pakistan.

    • Nadeem said:

      Wake up for the last so many years since Kiyani is head of army he never interfered in civil govt. No matter what civil govt have been doing. Army is sitting on side lines. You can sleep at night in your fancy home because there is some monstor army jawan is guarding our borders. You can carry your aman ki asha and put your Kashmir theory in front of Indians and watch what happens.

      • Nazia said:

        Kiayani is interfering all civilian matters of his interests and no one has courage to stop his US fed programs.WE are sleeping on our houses on our security risks and trusting Allah as America and army are setting their deals with each others.I have no interests on Indian policies but worry about matters of our inner security which is being deteriorated day by day.Oh Yes I am highly against of arms race and bogeymen created by generals like Kiayni.

      • Anon said:

        .
        Right — sitting in the sideline and scheming when one is looking 'not so bright' …
        .

  5. Sanjay said:

    What pakistan did whn pakistan was not half. . . .???? Recently pakistan declaired as 13th rank of failure state. . . .and this half shall destroyed by itself soon. . . .

    • Nadeem said:

      In 17 endian states freedom movement is going on, so you must be talking about end of endia.

  6. Nazia said:

    You know how much freedom movement is running in tiny Pakistan.Try to start from Baluchistan and end at last border of Kashmir.

  7. Uza Syed said:

    Which 'arms race' is our Prime Minister referring to? Get Fatmi or whoever put this hackneyed term in your speech; 'arm race' is out of place here, it makes you look stupid Mianjee—a race is between two equals how do you race a donkey and a horse? I fail to see the logic of it.

    • sahmed said:

      Because of the nuclear weapons the donkey and the horse are equal in this race.

  8. akram k said:

    we can use this soldiers to fight against terrorists in our country.india is not our problm,,these terrorist made pakistan the most dangerous place on earth..

  9. nirmal maunder said:

    What stops Nawz Sharif from unilaterally reducing his defense spending cut down on strength of army.India has not taken over Nepal,Bengladesh or srilanka & what makes him think that present armed forces act as deterrent against India.There is no parity between India & Pakistan & armed race between the two countries is a myth.Truth is Miyanji has no control over his armed forces which are exclusive privilege of his feudal army nexus.

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